This Jay Wears a Hard Hat not a Helmet
“Very physical, very emotional, very competitive one on one.” That’s how Brampton Battalion Head Coach Stan Butler describes defender Jay Harrison, recently returned to him from the Toronto Maple Leafs Training Camp. You might think this could lead to a defender that plays out of control but while he admits that his charge will “stick up for his teammates” the coach also points out that the 6’3″ 198 pounder “doesn’t try to do it all himself and plays well within a scheme.” Being able to keep that edge but still maintain control naturally lends itself to leadership by example and Butler readily agrees that Harrison has “good potential” on this front.
But there is more to Jay Harrison than the mental makeup of the hockey player. There is talent there too. Specifically the Battalion blueliner possesses a “strong stride” straight ahead and “good” side to side movement that rarely lets him get beat on the crossover move. If there something he needs to work on though it is the speed of his pivot to the outside which his coach concedes “could use some improvement.” That said, he is as near to airtight defensively as one can get. The WJC bench boss credits the rearguard with being “very solid positionally (and) regularly matches him up against (the other team’s) top offensive threats.”
Offensively, Harrison prefers to play it safe letting his partner do the darting and weaving while he takes care of the backside on the rush. He has a “hard shot” from the blueline but needs to work on his timing a bit more as he “sometimes gets it blocked.” He does possess “a good first pass” and knows how to find the open man in the neutral zone, but you won’t often see this defenseman skating behind his own net and through all five of the opposition. It’s just not his type of game. Jay Harrison is a ‘lunch-pail’ type of blueliner. His game is not fancy, but every NHL team needs a player like him guarding the backdoor. Stan Butler comments that his player projects into the “prototypical NHL stay-at-home defenseman” but cautions that although he has “gotten stronger and developed his individual skills and maturity level (since arriving in Brampton) he must continue to do so to reach the next level.”
HOCKEY’S FUTURE AND STEPHEN J. HOLODINSKY WOULD LIKE TO THANK BRAMPTON BATTALION’S COACH STAN BUTLER FOR HIS INSIGHT ON JAY HARRISON.